Jordan, US sign $1.45b MoU, reaffirm joint cooperation

Blinken safadi
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi (Left) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sign a memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership between the two countries, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

Later, in a joint press conference, the two officials stressed that their countries are working tirelessly to enhance cooperation between them in various spheres.

Under the memorandum, the US pledged to provide $1.45 billion per year in bilateral foreign assistance to Jordan beginning in the Fiscal Year 2023 and ending in 2029.

On the sidelines of the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in Saudi Arabia last July, US President Joe Biden, following a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah, announced his country’s intention to enter into a new memorandum of understanding for assistance to Jordan, under which the US supports Jordan with no less than $1.45 billion annually between the years 2023 and 2029.

“The memorandum represents a major commitment to Jordan’s stability and the durability of the strategic partnership,” according to a joint statement on the signing of the bilateral memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership between Jordan and the US.

“The U.S. commitment to Jordan’s security and prosperity is ironclad,” the statement asserted.

“This memorandum will address the extraordinary challenges Jordan faces, as it mitigates the heavy impact of regional challenges, supports King Abdullah’s economic reform program, and ensures the long-term strength of the close partnership between the US and Jordan,” the statement said.

It said the memorandum “comes at a critical juncture. The Government of Jordan is prioritizing and implementing key reforms to strengthen its economy and enhance services to its people”.

“The Kingdom of Jordan highly values its partnership with the US and is grateful for the support it continues to provide to Jordan to help its economic development process and support the Kingdom’s efforts in providing dignified lives to millions of refugees,” the statement said.

“The US is committed to helping Jordan further develop its economy and strengthen its resilience,” it noted.

The two countries voiced their desire to work together to confront the climate crisis, including the severe water scarcity challenge, adding that the partnership between Amman and Washington will also foster cooperation and investment in infrastructure, energy, water, food security, and climate, facilitating much-needed regional integration, according to the statement.

The statement stressed that the memorandum “will advance the peace and prosperity of Jordanians and Americans, and we look forward to further developing the deep, enduring friendship between our people”.

In the joint press conference that followed, Safadi said that the $1.45b memorandum is unprecedented in terms of its duration and the level of support provided to Jordan, and reflects the strength of the bilateral ties that bring the two countries together.

“With the support of the US, we will be able to continue to provide the refugees with the decent living they deserve. These refugees have been victims of the conflict and should not become victims of not doing what is necessary to help them,” Safadi said, expressing his thanks to the US for its continued support to Jordan.

“The importance of the US role, both with regard to our joint work to revive the peace process and put it on the right track towards achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution, the only solution that people can accept and adopt, and in our efforts to find political solutions to the catastrophic crises in Syria, Yemen, and in Libya or in our joint efforts to ensure the defeat of terrorism, the US has a primary position that cannot be replaced,” Safadi stressed.

Safadi declared: “As His Majesty King Abdullah and US President Joe Biden emphasized during their meeting in Jeddah, our partnership is strong, and our partnership is permanent, and it is a strategic partnership, and it is a partnership that will continue to do a lot of work not only for our bilateral relations, but also for the region and for international peace.”

“We are working to embody an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines, to live in peace and security alongside Israel,” he said. “Because if we cannot reach this solution, the peace for which we have all worked so long will not be achieved.”

“There are unilateral measures on the grounds that undermine the two-state solution, and our position is clear. All current Israeli measures that undermine the two-state solution must be halted, including settlements, land confiscation, and attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” Safadi insisted.

He said the US has “made huge efforts to help us address the refugee challenge, but meeting the needs of refugees cannot be the sole responsibility of the US and Jordan”.

“This is an international responsibility, and we all need to work together to ensure that refugees get the decent living they deserve,” the minister explained.

He maintained that “50 percent out of the 1.3 million Syrian refugees in Jordan are under the age of 15, and they need schools, universities, and jobs, and this problem still exists, and we must do everything we can to provide these refugees with the life they deserve because the truth is that if we provide refugees with hope, education, and jobs with a chance for a life of dignity, they will be positive members of the society they are in now.”

Blinken expressed his condolences on behalf of the American people over the causalities of the deadly building collapse in Amman, wishing the injured a speedy recovery and praising the huge efforts carried out by the Jordanian search and rescue teams.

Blinken said that the memorandum “supports major reforms endorsed by the Kingdom, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, and focuses on improving basic public services provided to Jordanian citizens, such as addressing the water crisis exacerbated by climate change, and developing economic opportunities”.

Blinken stressed that “Jordan continues to play a major role in enhancing regional security and stability, and this includes Jordan’s continued commitment to working towards achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, based on the two-state solution on the 1967 lines.”

“The Jordanian Armed Forces has always been a key ally in the fight against violent extremist ideology and counter-terrorism, including its role in the international coalition to defeat Daesh, as it faces new threats such as combating drug smuggling across the country’s northern border,” Blinken added.

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